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Forestry

Volume 114: debated on Wednesday 8 April 1987

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20.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next intends to meet the chairman of the Forestry Commission to discuss broadleaf planting.

My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to meet the chairman of the Forestry Commission to discuss this particular topic.

21.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he intends to alter existing practice in the determination of the suitability of land for afforestation.

The practices followed in determining whether land should be cleared for planting are kept under review. My right hon. and learned Friend hopes to make an announcement soon regarding the Government's conclusions arising from the Forestry Commission's review of the composition and procedures of its regional advisory committees, which have an important role in seeking to conciliate over disputed grant and felling applications, but has no other changes in mind at present.

25.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on his policy towards further afforestation in the flow country of Sutherland and Caithness.

Discussions are currently taking place between the Scottish Office, the Forestry Commission and the Nature Conservancy Council about how a reasonable balance between forestry and nature conservation can he achieved in the flow country of Caithness and Sutherland. All applications for planting grants arising in the districts of Caithness and Sutherland, whether within sites of special scientific interest or not, are the subject of consultation with the Nature Conservancy Council, as I announced in answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Corrie) on 17 February 1987 at column 541.

34.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to promote afforestation in lowland areas of England and to discourage planting in the flow areas of Scotland.

In addition to the Forestry Commission's present grant schemes, the afforestation of lowland areas in England will be encouraged by the measures announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food on 9 February 1987 at columns 38–40. These include the proposed introduction of a farm woodland scheme and an increase in traditional forestry by the release of better quality land than hitherto.My right hon. and learned Friend is not taking steps to discourage planting in any part of Scotland, but the Commission grant aid planting only after consultations with other relevant land use interests.